Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Zamora's goal becomes inspiration

Fulham 3
- Murphy 23,
- Elm 31,
- Zamora 54

Burnley 0

**Fulham produced a fine performance to deservedly take all three points on Tuesday evening against Burnley. It was certainly a game pleasing on the eye as both Fulham and Burnley started with the intention of keeping the ball on the floor.

The White soon seized control of proceedings and David Elm set up Danny Murphy for the opener. Elm turned from provider to scorer soon after when he prodded home a rebound from Bobby Zamora’s shot. The scoring was rounded off in the second-half when Bobby Zamora placed a low free-kick past Brian Jensen.

Simon Davies and Dickson Etuhu made their return to the Fulham starting eleven, somewhat relieving the Whites of their recent injury troubles. Whilst up front Bobby Zamora was also back on the team sheet, having recovered from short bout of illness.

Following a slow start to the encounter, the Whites were first to work a dangerous opportunity when Simon Davies, who was lurking at the back post, almost got his foot to a wide shot from Damien Duff.

The game sparked into life soon after that opportunity with both sides playing neat, one-touch football much to the appreciation of the Craven Cottage crowd. One such passage of play produced a fine opening for Duff down the Fulham right flank, unfortunately when the ball was cut back to the edge of the area, there were no Fulham players on hand to apply the finish.

Despite chances being at a premium during the first 20 minutes, there were no groans of frustration from the crowd who were witnessing a delightful show of passing football. Fulham upped the tempo on 21 minutes when Duff fed a short pass to David Elm, whose attempted curling effort into the bottom corner was held by Jensen.

Fulham took the lead in the 22nd minute through Danny Murphy . The pressure had been building up from Roy Hodgson’s side and the breakthrough came from a well-worked opportunity. David Elm was the creator as he nodded Nicky Shorey’s diagonal pass into the path of Murphy, who had made a darting run into the area to finish well past Jensen.

Fulham continued to apply the pressure and a fine save from Jensen helped stave off a Fulham second. The Whites maintained their momentum and the second goal of the evening came soon enough when David Elm opened his account. Bobby Zamora made good ground down the right flank and his left-footed shot could only palmed out by Jensen but only to the feet of Elm who delicately lifted the ball over the grounded keeper and into the net.

There was a timely reminder of the danger that Burnley posed on 41 minutes when Tyrone Mears’ free kick clipped the outside of Mark Schwarzer’s post.

The Whites didn’t have to wait long for the first chance of the second-half to present itself. Bobby Zamora blocked a clearance and forced an impressive low save from Jensen, winning Fulham a corner in the process.

There was a glimmer of danger on 50 minutes when a surging run from Andre Bikey took him clear of his midfielder markers but an uncompromising clearance from Aaron Hughes stopped the big midfielder in his tracks.

Fulham won a free right on the edge of the area when Bobby Zamora was hauled to the ground on 52 minutes by David Edgar. Zamora stepped up to coolly side foot the free kick past the despairing grasp of Jensen to make it three-nil.

Simon Davies was replaced by Jonathan Greening on 61 minutes after making a good return from his spell on the sidelines.

With the game drifting away from them Burnley stuck to their task and kept Fulham honest – although the Whites were certainly in no mood to give Brian Laws’ side an easy way back into the game.

Fulham’s attack was refreshed on 70 minutes with the introduction of Stefano Okaka for Bobby Zamora. The Whites’ final change of the evening saw Bjorn Helge Riise come on for Duff on 77 minutes – by which time the game was clearly in the process of winding down.

Only another good stop from Jensen prevented Fulham from netting their fourth of the night when Stefano Okaka’s shot was tipped wide after the Italian Under-21 international was played in on goal by Riise. And it proved to be the last moment of note in the match as Fulham closed out the game well in control.

Teams :

Schwarzer,Hangeland, 06 Baird, Shorey, Hughes, Murphy, Duff (Riise 77), Etuhu, Davies (Greening 62), Zamora (Okaka Chuka 71), Elm

Jensen, Carlisle, Mears, Edgar, Cort (Eagles 32), Bikey, Fox, McDonald, Elliott (Cork 56), Fletcher, Nugent (Paterson 76)

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